|President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc with artists and Overseas Vietnamese attending the programme. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese communities abroad have made valuable contributions to the country, including the intitial success of the vaccine diplomacy, said President Nguyễn Xuân Phúc at the “Xuân Quê Hương” (Homeland Spring) programme 2022.
The cultural and art festival held annually by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for overseas Vietnamese took place at the Hanoi Opera House on Saturday evening.
This year, nearly 60 intellectuals and entrepreneurs representing Vietnamese people from 23 countries and territories returned to Việt Nam for the programme.
President Phúc said that the Party and State always paid special attention to overseas Vietnamese affairs with the implementation of many important related policies.
He appreciated the results of tasks relating to overseas Vietnamese affairs in 2021 such as allocating funds to support communities in many regions affected by COVID-19; supporting medical equipment and basic necessities for overseas Vietnamese in more than 20 countries and territories; and calling on medical experts to provide online consultancy for overseas Vietnamese infecting with COVID-19.
Particularly, nearly 600 flights were sourced, helping to repatriate over 120,000 people.
The President expressed delight at achievements made by overseas Vietnamese in spite of difficulties caused by the pandemic, particularly in efforts to cope with the pandemic and support each other to overcome challenges for economic recovery.
The networks of Vietnamese intellectuals of overseas Vietnamese have had many initiatives to help the country in dealing with urgent and long-term issues, he said.
Meeting with Prime Minister
At a meeting with outstanding representatives of overseas Vietnamese on the same day, Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính said Việt Nam will continue to open the door more strongly in the future, including resuming international commercial flights and bringing back students to school, especially after the Lunar New Year holiday.
According to the Government leader, the pandemic remains complicated globally, but recent achievements made by Việt Nam would enable the country to open the door and welcome people living overseas to visit their homeland.
He stated that the Government would also continue to ask airlines to expand flights to many other parts of the world to make travel easier.
Chính said despite the negative impact of the prolonged COVID-19 outbreak, Việt Nam managed to weather the crisis and recorded important results in 2021.
“The country basically brought the pandemic under control, and it emerged as one of the six countries with the highest COVID-19 vaccination coverage in the world,” said the PM.
“The country’s macroeconomic stability and major balances were ensured, and business and production activities were gradually resumed.”
He emphasised that from an economy completely dependent on foreign aid after the war, Việt Nam has now built an independent and self-reliant economy.
Last year, Việt Nam recorded a GDP growth rate of 2.58 per cent, with total export revenue rising 22.6 per cent to US$668.5 billion and a trade surplus of $4 billion.
The government leader thanked Vietnamese expatriates overseas for their significant contributions to the nation and at the same time said he shared their concerns about difficulties in travelling due to the pandemic, which has prevented many from returning to their homeland for family reunions during the festive season.
“The government understands, shares your concern and holds the responsibility for repatriating overseas Vietnamese home, and we are trying to ensure your way home will be easier,” said Chính.
He assured that the Party and State would continue to introduce incentives to mobilise resources and create a favourable environment for overseas Vietnamese to contribute intellectually and develop the country.
OV honoured for contributions to homeland’s COVID-19 combat
Overseas Vietnamese (OV) members who have made great contributions to Việt Nam's COVID-19 fight and development were honoured in a meeting on Saturday within the framework of Homeland Spring programme 2022.
Addressing the event, Deputy Foreign Minister Phạm Quang Hiệu, who is head of the Foreign Ministry’s State Committee for OV Affairs, said that this is a special and meaningful occasion to look back on a challenging 2021, and express gratitude to individuals and organisations who have supported and accompanied the country to overcome difficulties in recent years.
OVs in many countries have engaged in practical activities to help the homeland. They have donated up to VNĐ80 billion (over $3.5 million) to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in general and the COVID-19 vaccine fund in particular, along with large amounts of medical equipment and supplies.
Many Vietnamese expatriates in Singapore, Australia, Japan, Germany, the US, and the Republic of Korea have actively worked with Vietnamese representative agencies abroad in calling for assistance from their host countries' governments, opening up many opportunities for Việt Nam to access vaccines, medicines and medical equipment and supplies for COVID-19 prevention.
Besides active contributions to Việt Nam’s vaccine diplomacy, overseas Vietnamese organisations and networks of entrepreneurs, intellectuals, youth and students had kept effective connections with the homeland, contributing to the nation’s socio-economic development, Hiệu said. — VNS